THE help of the community is the key to helping police battle the growing number of cannabis ‘factories’ in leafy suburban neighbourhoods.
That was the message from Solihull police as officers raided the second factory in as many days in Barcheston Road in picturesque Knowle last Friday.
No-one was found at the property but officers forced entry to discover a hi-tech ‘skunk’ cannabis cultvation operation with special lighting and a filtration system to keep the pungent smells of the drug within the confines of the house
The discovery, producing the high strength hybrid strain of cannabis on an industrial scale, followed hot on the heels of a similar raid on a house in Warwick Road, Solihull, on Wednesday last week.
Police swooped on the house in Knowle after a tip off.
Six rooms in the large property had been used to grow the drug and around 750 plants were seized, as well as a quantity of the drug which had already been harvested and left to dry out.
The Solihull Times was invited to witness the scene as officers from the neighbourhood team were joined by members of CID and forensic scene of crime officers.
The house is thought to have been rented out by its owners, who one neighbour thought live in Switzerland.
Sgt Ann Strachan from Solihull police said: “We were acting on community intelligence and as a result uncovered a substantial cannabis production set-up. We are really really thankful for the community helping us.”
One neighbour said: “Someone thought something was going on and tried to get in touch with the people who own the house. We are used to such a quiet life here.”
Sgt Strachan, who is closely involved with the Natural High drug and alcohol awareness project for borough youngsters which starts on March 23, urged anyone who suspects drug cultivation might be going on in their neighbourhood to contact the police on 0845 113 5000.
*Pictured is Pc Jim Rencher with some of the plants that were siezed in Knowle